Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 1019)

Pie Crusts

Wow. 😳

Me to the Snook just now: “You need to up your game!”

Frocktober 2017

As I’ve done for several years running now, I’ll be raising money this “Frocktober” for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. I’ll be wearing a different dress every day of the month, with over half of them made by me personally. Last year‘s total was $1481.04, so this year I’m aiming to top $1500. If you’d like to help, my fundraising page for 2017 is here:

This year I’m offering a special perk: for the first three folks who donate $100+, I will personally teach you to sew your own dress (or something else if you’re not a dress wearer)! I’m not going to do it for you, but I’ll walk you through choosing a pattern, picking out fabric and supplies, and every step of the sewing process. If you’re not in Sydney, this might have to be a combination of email and video chat, but we’ll make it work. 😄

DDD Perth 2017

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to give the locknote at DDD Perth 2017. DDD stands for “Developer! Developer! Developer!,” and it’s a community-run conference that happens in locations around the world. The goal is to put on an event that anyone can attend, so it’s held on a Saturday and the cost is just $50. The Perth event attracted 330+ attendees and featured 19 speakers across three tracks.

I actually got to Perth a few days early so I could attend some usergroups and meet with some local contacts. I went to the Fenders meetup as well as the launch of the new Junior Dev Perth group. The latter was incredible – the room was full of 90 energetic attendees, most of whom were just starting out in their careers. Well done to LJ and the JuniorDev team for this much-needed westward expansion!

Then it was time for DDD Perth! The speaker/sponsor/volunteer drinks were held Friday night at the rooftop bar of The Reveley. It was fun but loud.

The day of the conference started out really foggy, oddly. Apparently that’s a thing that happens in Perth every now and then?! The morning keynote was Gojko Adzic, straight from YOW! Singapore. He talked about some of the coming challenges for software quality posed by things like the cloud, AI and biometrics – including amusing anecdotes like the one about the DMV system brought down by a set of twins.

The talks throughout the day were all excellent. My friend Nathan Jones gave a talk called “Death by Good Intentions” that talked about some of the common mistakes and pitfalls he’s seen teams fall into over the course of his career. I especially liked his point about choosing mature technology like PHP over perpetually chasing shiny new things.

My friend Sam Ritchie also gave an informative, pun-tastic talk called “Flying Solo – lifehack your way to a pants-optional workplace”. It was all about how to quit your job and start your own company. My favourite part was the slide with an actual flowchart to answer the question: “Should you put on pants today?”

I was lucky to get to meet Patima Tantiprasut earlier this year on a visit (and then again when she came to Sydney with Localhost). She gave a great short talk called “Web, Wellness and Getting Sh*t Done”, all about strategies you can use to prevent mental burnout. Really welcome advice! (Not to mention a nice tie-in to my own talk later in the day…)

After lunch I saw a few more excellent talks, but to be honest I was more than a little preoccupied with my own looming locknote! I especially liked Donna Edwards‘ talk on hiring and retention for diversity, and Christian Prieto‘s entertaining presentation on the history and programming challenges of the Atari 2600.

And then it was time!

My talk was called “The Campsite Rule – Leaving the Tech Industry Better than We Found It”. The general idea was that a lot of the time, the tech industry feels like a dumpster fire. The temptation to walk away is ever present (especially when shit like this happens). It leads to a lot of us burning out. One of the things that’s been keeping me motivated and engaged is recent years is mentoring, and I wanted to convince the experienced devs in the room to get more involved with guiding the next generation. I included as much practical advice as I could for both prospective mentees and mentors. Yeah, it got a little ranty at times. (There may have even been an F-bomb in there.) But everyone seemed to take it in the right spirit, and I was gratified by how many folks sent me wonderful tweets or wrote blog posts saying how inspiring they found it.

Some photos from the conference Flickr page:


I had to laugh at that stretch of them. I’m a fairly, uh, expressive speaker, I guess you could say. 😂

My slides are up on Slideshare if you want to take a look, and I’ll share the video when it becomes available. Some of the images are from our recent trip to Yellowstone; some are from Unsplash; and some are from WOCinTech Chat.

Thank you again to the DDD Perth organisers for inviting me to participate in this wonderful event! It was my first ever keynote, and there were many times over the preceding months where I kicked myself for agreeing to do it. (I’m a procrastinator with a tendency towards constant guilty thoughts, so there was some stress.) I’m so happy I did it though! And I can’t say enough about the tireless volunteers and organisers, and how great a job they did putting this event together. If you ever get a chance to attend or speak at a DDD in the future, you definitely should.

Fashion It So

How did I not know that there is a blog dedicated to the fashion of Star Trek: The Next Generation? This is GENIUS.

“The Amazing Eyes of Kuda Bux” – Roald Dahl Fans

It’s not often I get to read a story by Roald Dahl that I’ve never read before! Recently I had that wonderful thrill though when I finally managed to track down a copy of Dahl’s 1952 essay “The Amazing Eyes of Kuda Bux” in an old magazine on eBay. Head over to Roald Dahl Fans to read the rest…

Data Weave

Very cool. I’ve been a fan of GLITCHAUS‘s work for years. (He’s been mentioned in a couple different versions of my “Knit One Compute One” talk.) I’ve just taken the opportunity to back this latest project, ordering a scarf woven with the binary from the ILOVEYOU virus.

Me: “…considering it was a formative experience in our relationship ☺”

Snookums: “You mean, you going to the pub while I helped fix it?”

Me: “exactly”

From amusement to existential angst

Actual things I typed to the Snook on chat while watching this video:

  • That is some excellent QWOP
  • That’s also how I run in my dreams.
  • 😂
  • LOL I love how the humanoid runs
  • Okay, that made me weirdly philosophical by the end

What can I say? I’ve become rather obsessed with 17776, and it’s giving me existential angst.

Eat Your Books

Unsolicited endorsement: Every Saturday I make a menu plan for the week*. As inputs, I go with our current fridge and freezer assets as well as whatever’s coming in the next Ooooby box. Then I use Paprika to find recipes that will use up the most perishable stuff first. Paprika’s great for organising your online recipes, and we keep our old iPad in the kitchen to cook from.

That said, last week I was looking at our bookshelf full of dead tree cookbooks and lamenting the fact that we rarely cook from them. “If only there was a database that I could search as easily as I do Paprika,” I said to the Snook. “Oh wait!” he said. “I saw something for that recently.”

Less than a day later we’d signed up for a year subscription to Eat Your Books and loaded our 40+ cookbooks into it. I was happy to see that just about all our books were already in there, and probably 85% of them were indexed. Once you’ve logged your books, you can search through the recipe indexes by ingredient, type of meal, etc. So handy! Already we’ve cooked from our books three times since: Neil Perry’s Persian-style lamb stew, Jamie Oliver’s Crispy Chicken, and Momofuku’s Brussels sprouts with fish sauce vinaigrette.

Highly recommended if you’re in the same situation…

* The Snook hates making meal decisions, so I make the list and assign him all the more labour-intensive dishes.

Transform the SF Clipper Card Into a Wearable

Tired of bulking up your wallet with several different credit cards, id cards, and transit cards? We found out a way to extract the key functional components from the Clipper Card, and mold it into a variety of wearable devices, including a small rubber plate, a waterproof aspirin band, and a breadboard bracelet.

Source: Transform the SF Clipper Card Into a Wearable: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

Ooh, that’s very cool! I wonder if it’d work with an Opal card??

Emission Spectra Scarves

In some versions of my “Knit One, Compute One” talk, I mention the Emission Spectra scarves that Becky Stern made back in 2010. Becky’s blog post links to PDF patterns for some common elements as well as an online pattern generator, but unfortunately these are all gone now. (Link rot, how I hate you.) However, to the rescue! Their 2015 snapshot of the post has captured the PDFs so you can still access them. Tungsten is definitely my favourite!

Tungsten Emission Spectrum Scarf

More photos available at Becky Stern’s Flickr photoset